Sunday, July 19, 2015

Monday Reading Pleasures

           On Mondays, we are lucky to link up to share books we've read that are for children and teens with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. Others link to share adult books with Sheila at Book Journeys who started the meme a long time ago. It's great to read about so many good books available, new and old! Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

See the buttons on the right for Myra Garces-Bacsal's Gathering Books Award Winning Book Challenge and the MustReadIn2015 challenge hosted by Carrie Gelson at There's A Book for That. You can read my "must read" list above. The following book meets the criteria for both these lists.

      It's been a long time since I read nearly all one day. I guess one reason is that I'm on vacation. And the second one is that All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a wonder of a book. It also won the Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. First of all, I loved the adult complexity of the book, the way that Doerr wove his story back and forth among characters and back and forth in time. The story is set before, during and after World War II, includes several interesting characters, but the main ones are Werner, a gifted young orphan who is German, and who gets the chance to go to a special school for preparing boys for war (unheard of for his background) and a young girl, blind, living with her father who works at the Natural History Museum in Paris. The characters, the details in their lives, and the events surrounding them built with such tension, continually parallel and intertwine. I sometimes had to stop and wonder what I would do in such a time, or I would stop to re-read a passage to be sure I hadn't missed anything or to appreciate the beautiful language. The parts included that touch on light in hundreds of ways are magical. Here are a few examples of sentences I marked. Concerning peaches after an arduous escape from Paris: "Seconds later, she's eating wedges of wet sunlight."  When a soldier enters a room of children in an orphanage: "His handgun is black; it seems to draw all the light in the room toward it." Upon a first experience at the ocean: "At least, out on the beaches, her privation and fear are rinsed away by wind and color and light." When one of the main characters is asking questions of life: "Why bother to make music when the silence and wind are so much larger? Why light lamps when the darkness will inevitably snuff them?" I marked many more. This may not be the book for you, but it certainly pleased me.


The Night World - written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein            What a magical book this is, and how clever are the illustrations. Along with the spare words, the pictures too, but slowly, bring hints of what all the animals are saying: “Here it comes!” “it’s on its way!” and finally, “Good night.” or “Good morning.” A young boy says goodnight to his cat Sylvia at the beginning, with twilight showing some color out the window. Soon, all the scenes are blacks and shades of grey, the colorless world of the night. Yet, if watched carefully, one notices the sky’s changes, darker, lighter, lighter grey.  The night, however full of animals prowling and shadows wavering is changing. It’s a visual delight, will bring so many questions from those who get to read it, or have it read to them.






The Princess and the Pea - written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
              It is wonderful to read and see another book by Rachel Isadora. The story is what you’ve known, a young prince wants to marry a real princess, yet finds it hard to tell which one he meets is real. In this story, the mother helps by making a test with twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds with the pea under all that. One princess passes the test; she was the one! This well-known story is set in Africa this time, with a few African words thrown in, in addition to Isadora’s collage illustrations reflecting that colorful continent beautifully.

My Heart Will Not Sit Down by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by AnnTanksley is a book to add to the books about giving to others. This story is based on an African village (always poor) that sends $3.77 to America to help those who were hungry during the Great Depression. There is extensive back matter to the story, adding even more examples of those who have little still sharing what they can. It reminds me of the book 14 Cows for America. This time, a young girl's teacher in a school in Cameroon, a missionary from America, tells the class about the hardships happening during the Depression, and Kedi goes all over the village telling about this, and asking for money. Very little money is available to anyone in that village. They are poor, themselves, yet still must scrape enough coins to pay head taxes (during colonial times). Kedi is sad, says her "heart will not sit down", a Bulu saying from an ethnic tribe in Cameroon. Those from her village did not let her heart stay that way! The pages are filled with vibrant, colorful illustrations.

Next: A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord, will try for Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley for the coming twitter chat, and a pile of picture books, PLUS still reading for #CyberPD. I also have what sounds like a terrific new dystopian novel from Net Galley. It sounds great! Happy Reading Everyone!

26 comments:

  1. Hi Linda, I love the cover of The Night World! I've got All The Light We Cannot See as an audiobook. I just need to find enough time to just sink into it. Maybe on our next road trip. I'm also in the middle of A Handful of Stars. So far it is just delightful! Happy reading this week.

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    1. Thanks, Cheriee. Sounds as if we're on similar pages with our reading. Hope you enjoy The Night World and All The Light You Cannot See! I'm looking forward to A Handful of Stars!

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  2. All of these are new to me. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Come see my reading week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I hope you found one or two to find and enjoy!

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  3. I absolutely loved All the Light You Cannot See as well. I just was not terribly in love with the ending of the book, but I loved the language and the complexity of the story as you did. All three of the picture books you mentioned sound fabulous. I will have to look for them. Have a great reading week!

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    1. As for the ending, I think he had to stop somewhere or could have gone on many more pages/details. I am glad he wrapped up all the stories. Thanks Andrea. Enjoy the picture books!

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  4. Really curious about My Heart Will Not Sit Down, thanks!

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    1. It was quite lovely, and a sweet story, plus the back matter was detailed too, Katie. Thanks.

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  5. Handful of Stars had its moments. I've had All the Light recommended to me, but it's hard for me to pick up adult books. My Heart Will Not Sit Down sounds intriguing. Have to see if my public library has it. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks Karen, hope you find and enjoy My Heart Will Not Sit Down. It was a nice surprise to find.

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  6. I have All the Light on my Kindle but haven't started it yet. Really want to get to it and Station 11 this year. I liked Handful of Stars quite a bit. I'm trying to read Circus Maximus too but doubt I participate in the chat. I always have good intentions with these things that I don't follow through on. SIGH. I have been keeping up with #cyberPD at least!

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    1. I'll see what I can do, still need to read for #CyberPD. Lots going on this month, Elisabeth. As you can see I did love All The Light, and Station Eleven too-good reading this summer for older readers!

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  7. The Night World took me by surprise, I was not expecting to be blown away. I loved the way the illustrations changed, so beautiful! I hope you have can join us for the Circus Mirandus chat. It was an amazing book IMO.

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    1. I put it on my Kindle! Reading now-compelling! I already want to help this boy! Yes, Night World is awesome! Thanks, Michele.

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  8. Yay Circus Mirandus ;)
    The Night World has been on a lot of radars recently--I will have to see if I can get it from my library.
    Looks like you have some wonderful reading ahead of you--enjoy!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, am already about a third of the way through Circus-I am hoping for good things! Enjoy The Night World if you can find it!

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  9. I cannot get over the cover of The Night World. It is so magical! I need to get a copy of it. I am going to keep plugging for Circus Mirandus until I convince you. ;) Have a great week, my friend!

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    1. As you see above, Ricki, I put it on my Kindle, am about a third of the way through. It will be easy if I stop reading posts (te he). Thanks for the cheering, and do find The Night World!

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  10. I had All the Light on request as an ebook and audiobook and regular book from the library and all of them came in at once. Luckily I have no WiFi so reading it the old fashioned way.

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    1. I read the print book too, Earl. It's full of sticky notes! I hope you enjoy it.

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  11. I am so pleased to see you loved The Night World. I haven't stopped thinking about this book - I will be going back to the bookstore to purchase my own copy! It's so beautiful.

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    1. I read it for the first time Saturday with Ingrid. She saw the changes! I may have to have it, too, Carrie. It is another special one! I've read it several times since. Thanks for your recommendation. I'm so lucky that my library has nearly every book I request.

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  12. Hi, Linda! I'm glad you got a "reading day"! All the Light We Cannot See is on my #MustReadin2015, but I haven't read it yet! I guess I need to get busy! It seems like a book I'll love, and your review makes me more interested in getting to it quickly. Your description of The Night World is almost poetry of its own! I feel like this one must be a title I can't miss. I hope you love Mirandus-- it is definitely one of my favorites this year. (Who has the Twitter chat??) Thanks for your ideas. Have a great week!

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    1. I had All The Light for a long time, but another blogger friend who was at my book sale last week told me I just had to read it! So I started and couldn't stop! I hope you like it! The Night World is wonderful-do find it. As for the twitter chat, it's hosted on Thursday by Ricki & Kellee! I'm not sure of the time. #Miranduschat Watch the blog tomorrow & Wed. for them to tell. Thanks!

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  13. I have All the Light We Cannot See waiting to be read! Your review makes me want to put this at the top of my list PRONTO! I am also very eager to start with Circus Mirandus. Perhaps I'd bring both books when I travel end of this week. :) I will definitely be on the look out for The Night World.

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    1. I just reviewed Circus Mirandus today, but you must read All The Light We Cannot See, Myra. As you can read, it is a wonderful story, poignant and so beautifully written.

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